Degree: French Studies with Italian
Year of Graduation: 2013
Job Title: Research Executive
Organisation: Blueprint Partnership
I originally enrolled at Lancaster to do joint honours in Maths and French, but after picking up Italian as a minor, I decided I wanted to graduate in Modern Languages instead. If Lancaster hadn’t given me the opportunity to be flexible with my degree I would never had been able to do Italian and my university life would have been very different. I also completed the Lancaster Award which gave a really helpful insight into the world of employment. My degree enabled me to learn valuable skills for the work place such as excellent communication, confidence, independence and team work.
I can’t even begin to say how much my year abroad helped me in my career! It was the most fantastic opportunity and the skills I learnt have been invaluable. My independence and communication skills drastically improved, as well as growing more confident in meeting new people and adapting to new surroundings.
I now work for a company that conducts international market research for pharmaceutical companies. When I applied for the job, they were advertising for someone with a science or marketing background and didn’t mention languages as a required skill. I applied anyway, and I based my application on the fact that my language skills would be incredibly useful for a company that conducts the majority of its business with international markets. The company is relatively new, it was established in 2005, and it is a small, independent one with a sort of boutique feel. There are about 35 employees in total so we’re a close team and work really well together. I find the role really interesting; the nature of the market research we carry out is really relevant to current medicine and medical progress. I liaise frequently with French and Italian agencies and am often asked to proof-read translated materials, plus I get the opportunity to travel abroad so my languages are an additional advantage. I feel valued by the company and my progression is noticed as I recently won an award for ‘best development of self.’
I would recommend to students not to feel under pressure to have a job lined up immediately after graduation. I found it useful to take time out so I could really think carefully about what I wanted to do. I would also advise students not to be put off if they don’t match job descriptions. If you like the sound of the job and feel it would suit you then apply! You have nothing to lose, and in my case, they employed me because of my language skills and knew they could teach me about the pharmaceutical industry on the job. It’s been more challenging as compared to other employees I am not as experienced, but the hard work pays off and it feels much more rewarding.